SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1103 - June 28, 2002
Scuttlebutt is a digest of yacht racing news of major significance; commentary, opinions, features and dock talk . . . with a North American emphasis. Corrections, contributions, press releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.
Security planning around the America's Cup in Auckland is under review to ensure that anti-nuclear protesters will not disrupt the running of the event. This follows the scenes in France recently when the formal launching of the Le Défi Areva yacht, FRA-69, had to be abandoned because of the actions of Greenpeace protesters. The yacht was damaged when a Greenpeace protest boat struck it amidships.
The New Zealand Government is in a tricky situation as far as the French syndicate's sponsorship is concerned. New Zealand has a formal anti-nuclear policy and, in some respects, has been a world leader in the anti-nuclear campaign. The policy extends to nuclear powers, as well as nuclear weapons.
The Government, therefore, has to steer a course between allowing peaceful protests in a cause, which is, in fact, national policy, and any action that might endanger or disrupt a major sporting event, which also has strong Government support.
Trevor Mallard, Minister for the America's Cup said it was important for New Zealand to be seen as a place where peaceful protests were allowed, but illegal protests were not. - Official America's Cup website, full story: www.americascup.com
* July will see over 600 Optimist sailors from nearly seventy countries participating in the Worlds and three of the continental championships of the Optimist Class. The Optimist Class is about selecting as many as possible so only a handful will be picked for more than one event. The U.S.A. for example will send 43 different sailors - five to the Worlds, eight to the Europeans and thirty to the North Americans. www.optiworld.org/ioda-news.html
* Whilst, the World Speed Sailing Record Council was not able to ratify the original claim (of 697 nm) by Maiden II as the last position report was 2 minutes over the 24 hours, with subsequent information the claim was ratified. However the WSSRC requires that additional position reports are made prior to, and following the record claim and, from these our Council members were able to identify a 24 hour pairing which has resulted in the existing record PlayStation 687.17 nm being broken. The original claim was a distance of 697nm, and with the recalculation this has decreased to a distance of 694.78nm. - www.sailspeedrecords.com
* The Sailing Center in Miami, Florida is almost complete. The water and electric hook up should be done within the next week or so. The landscaping will follow. Will probably have the C.O. within the next 45 days. Some of the amenities are: 15 min. access to Biscayne Bay; 2 hoists and large ramp for boats; storage; coach boat storage; Men/Woman showers and changing rooms; 3 coaches offices; large meeting/Conf. Room; full internet access for coaches and telephone use. It should be one of the best places on earth to run a regatta.
* Lewmar has named Carl Jeppesen, as the General Manager of the Company's US operations. In that role he will direct Lewmar's supply of product to its manufacturing (OEM) and aftermarket clients. He will also direct the logistics of product delivery in the North American arena as well as the operating procedures of the US headquarters in Guilford.
* The Chapin Company has announced a license agreement with Dawn Riley, professional sailor and CEO of America True. Chapin will design and manufacture a multi-use signature line for Ms. Riley for women sailors and general outdoor enthusiasts. A percentage of the sales will go to America True's "True Youth" programs dedicated to providing youth nationwide with the opportunity to benefit from sailing and its inherent life's lessons.
* Auckland City councillors voted 11-5 to give Team New Zealand $650,000 to help it run the America's Cup match. The money will help Team New Zealand to meet a $9.5 million shortfall and to promote, manage and staff the best-of-nine series between the cup holders and the winner of the challengers regatta. Ratepayers are now contributing $910,000 towards the cup. On top of the $650,000 grant to Team New Zealand, the council has committed $260,000 to an America's Cup welcome and to victory parades. - NZ Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz/sports/
* After eight days in the air, Steve Fossett's "Bud Light Spirit of Freedom" is right on track. The 180' high Roziere-type (constant temperature helium) balloon carrying the adventurous American aviator, yachtsman and baloonist has reached its half way mark as Fossett attempts to complete the first solo, non-stop, round-the-world balloon flight. Launched from Northam, Western Australia, on
* Former Yachting World editor Bernard Hayman died at the end of June aged 82. Bernard Hayman's strongly held views on the responsibilities of sailors and his several campaigns for improved standards of both seamanship and yacht design and equipment made him a formidable force in the shaping of the sport of sailing when it was booming in the 60s and 70s.
* It's official - sometime on Wednesday afternoon Scuttlebutt added subscriber number 14,000.
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LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
(Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name and may be edited for clarity or space - 250 words max. This is not a chat room or a bulletin board - you only get one letter per subject, so give it your best shot and don't whine if others disagree.)
* From Luca Bassani Antivari: It happens more and more often that boats, racing under handicap's systems like IMS or ORC Club or IRC, win some events until some competitor requests a new measurement. And the new measurement comes out with a new Rating, normally less favorable.
At this point that boat starts back racing, with no penalty to the owner or the skipper, neither a re-score of the races won under the wrong handicap. This means that nobody will ever be responsible for their handicaps and those frauds will increase.
Why don't we ask ISAF to be much more severe on this matter ? Why do we allow people to fraud in our sport, without running any risk ? With the increase of commercial interests those frauds will become more and more frequent. If we keep allowing those behaviors, soon or later we will allow using the engine when the wind dies. Is this the offshore sailing we want?
* From Rasa Bertrand: The A.C. syndicate financiers tend to be the ones who rant and rave and hire the lawyers. More often than not, most dissapear after a regatta or two. But as witnessed, at the A C Jubillee regatta in Cowes last year, the sailors and families remain great mates. As anyone that was there will attest, you couldnt walk down the high street without being surrounded by friends who sailed for other teams over the years. Competitors on the water are just that. I say let the financiers huff and puff and try to blow each other's compounds down. Give them a break, that's their sport and helps spread the wealth around.
* From Michael Gian (America's Cup for non-lawyers): The attempt to enforce rules trying to protect technical secrets is worse for the sport than the disclosure of those secrets. No competent syndicate should (or does) solely rely on the law to protect their proprietary technology. They make every effort to "thwart spies" before the information gets out.
Conceding this, consider the scenario where there is no legal recourse. Everyone has tight security. Disinformation is leaked. So what's different from the existing state? Nothing much except that "stolen" ideas have slightly higher market value, inflated by the consequences of being caught with them.
Eliminate those restrictive rules and let the various parties both be solely responsible for protecting their own interests and be more open regarding their abilities to spy. The public audience, other than the lawyers and politicians, will be much more interested in the resulting intrigue than we are in the squabbling present now.
* From Dave Culp: The America's Cup has always been about off-water shenanigans. There've been books written about them (e.g.: Jerome Brooks, "The $30,000,000 Cup; The Stormy History of the Defense of the America's Cup" from 1958, also Doug Riggs, "Keelhauled; The History of Unsportsmanlike Conduct and the America's Cup," from 1983). See also Bill Koch's A Short Primer on Rule Bending at: www.a3.org/AC2000_Rules_Side.html
Legal, ethical, moral; it's all grist for the mill. This race is the best soap opera in sailing--and always has been. I look forward to each installment with bated breath; please, please don't let it stop. I'll have to start watching telly again.
* From Bob Fisher: I have to agree with both the Andys, Green and Rose, two America's Cup sailors from different generations. Rose, the Californian who sailed on Alan Bond's Australia in 1977, is particularly ironic with his remark, 'I am enjoying the mistakes, coverups and "spinning" of the various parties.' He provided his own controversy in Newport, RI., but he is such an aficionado that he was at Cowes for the 150th Anniversary.
I couldn't agree more and am looking forward to five months of it first hand in Auckland. For those of us who have seen the racing over the years, it is the rest of the scene that holds the attention long after the boats have quit the Hauraki Gulf for the day
* From Andy Watts: Permit me to add my 2 cents worth on the A/C debate. Keep it coming, the rumors, lies, innuendoes and intrigues, great stuff, can't overdo it. I am with the Andy Green camp, and when the racing finally starts, well it just doesn't get any better.
* From Boog Bolton: Sailing in my youth, my dream was to compete in the America's Cup. Now, sailing for a living as an adult, my dream is to never hear about the America's Cup- until the winner crosses the line. Who let the lawyers in?
* From Ed Sherman Regarding 'Butt readers thinking that the "Soap Opera" nature of AC is new; This premiere international regatta has always created controversy, only now there is 'Butt to tell us about it on a daily basis in our homes. We were in Newport in '83 when many tried to clip Ben Lexcen's "wings" from OZ2 and more. 'Butt fans would have had a page full every day during those days.
* From Alan Howlett (Regarding Rule 42 at National Lasers 2002 article by Graeme Owens): I'm thrilled to see these judges step up and Judge. It's thankless and unpopular when the rules are applied inconsistently or selectively. When competitors feel they must break rules to be competitive with others who are getting away with it, it becomes anarchy on the water and we all lose something of our sport.
* From Malcolm McKeag (re Paul Murphy's plea for more competitor protests under 42): Competitors don't do this for 2 reasons. Unlike, say, an overlap/ no overlap protest which is essentially an argument about judgment, a 42 protest is a straightforward accusation of cheating - with all the attendant ill-feeling such an accusation arouses. Perhaps more important, it is more or less impossible to prove after the race is over.
We were using Graeme Owen's methods many years ago at, for example, the Princess Sofia in Palma, with similar success. The major problem is consistency of judging between regattas. It is important for the judges to talk to competitors and, especially, their coaches beforehand so that everyone has a clear understanding of what will be permitted and what not.
The judges also need an understanding of what the class accepted norm is - especially if they are new to the class or group and are planning to 'correct' ingrained behaviour. And if the judges believe a class norm is not correct, the competitors need warning that what they have thought to be acceptable (or got away with elsewhere) will not be accepted here. Judges who exude the attitudes of malignant traffic cops are not helping: those seen as gaurdians of integrity are invariably made welcome, as are their actions.
AT THE STORE AND CHICAGO YC
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(In part 2 of James Boyd's madforsailing interview with Bruce Farr the subject of one-design boats for the next Volvo Ocean Race was discussed. Here's an excerpt.)
With a one design there are big design and project management savings to be made and there is a financial kick back in terms of economies of scale such a bulk purchasing. Contrary to an idea mooted previously on madforsailing, of a one-design hull that keeps the rig and appendages open, an option that Farr fancies is the idea of having a one design rig and keel and keeping the rest open. "This would allow a freedom of building the boats, but controls some of the key performance issues."
However previous experience tells him that if Volvo were to go down the one design route they should go the whole way. "As soon as a big development team are employed to get the most out of the bit they're allowed to play with, it will nullify the benefits of any cost savings. It's Einstein's last theorum! Time equals money. Take the man hours out and you take the cost out of it." - James Boyd, madforsailing website, full story: www.madforsailing.com
YOUTH SAILING CHAMPIONSHIP
Over 300 young sailors submitted applications to sail Laser, Europe, Club 420, and 470 dinghies in the Championship, and 154 sailors from 23 states were selected by sailing resume by the US Sailing's Youth Championship Committee to compete for a chance to become members of the 2002 US Youth Sailing Team. The June 21-27 event was hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club with co-hosts Coronado Yacht Club, Mission Bay Yacht Club and Southwestern Yacht Club.
After four days of racing in 6-15 knots of breeze, the new US Youth Sailing Team members are Laser sailor Andrew Campbell (San Diego, CA), Club 420 team Frank Tybor (Coronado, CA) and Jeffrey Boyd (San Diego, CA), Europe sailor Molly Carapiet (Belvedere, CA), and 470 team Mikee Anderson-Mitterling and Graham Biehl (San Diego, CA).
Two-time defending champion Andrew Campbell (San Diego, CA) took the lead on Day 2 and never relinquished it in the tightly contested, 48-boat Laser fleet. Campbell's scores of 3-7-2-1-1-2-(8)-3-5-1-3 for 28 total points were the result of a major effort. Campbell received the Robert L. Johnstone III Trophy, and has qualified to represent the United States at the ISAF World Youth Sailing Championship in Canada next month. Clay Johnson has qualified to sail in the
U.S. Singlehanded Championship for the O'Day Trophy to be sailed in Grosse
Pointe, Michigan in August.
Despite sailing the wrong course in the first race, last year's runners-up, Frank Tybor (Coronado, CA) and crew Jeffrey Boyd (San Diego, CA) roared back to win decisively in the 44-boat Club 420 division. Their scores of (45/RAF)-1-1-1-1-1-8-10-6 for 33 total points were enough to capture the Manton Scott Trophy.
Complete results: www.ussailing.org/youthchamp/2002/.
VIC MAUI RACE
Division A's departure Thursday was not altogether uneventful as they sailed in hot pursuit of the 13 yachts which left Tuesday. The weather was cloudy, with choppy seas and some incoming current. This division includes the fastest boats in the race however, and the spectator boats carrying friends and families had to hike along at 13 kts to stay in touch.
The corrected time leader was Robert Brunius' J-120 Time Bandit (138 miles in the last 24 hours) followed by Bill Moore's J-36, Grey Hound (121 miles) and First Sight, Don Taylor's Beneteau 45f5 (119 miles). Peter Bennett, www.vicmaui.org/
KIELER WOCHE DAY 2
27/06/2002 - Four fleets were held ashore at the Kiel Olympic Classes Regatta in Germany today as the Baltic was lashed by a series of fronts that brought heavy downpours and recorded gusts of up 40 knots. The windsurfers were the only happy fleet as more breeze simply equals more speed, although several broken booms provided ample proof of the arduous conditions. After several Tornado's limped back to the dock yesterday with broken parts and the occasional missing rig, they were wisely kept ashore with the delicate Star and 49er fleets. As the safety boats meant for the Finn course were kept busy on the joint Laser and Europe race area, the Finn fleet also enjoyed a day off. Nigel Cherrie, www.kielerwoche.de/
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
The IQ and the life expectancy of the average American recently passed each other going in opposite directions.